Boxing Day is right around the corner. This year it is even better than before, as we now even get a late PL match at 20:30 CET. So, if you have access to TV football, you can watch four whole matches on this beautiful day! Obviously, the day will get even more exciting if you have a fantasy team to root for…
The day kicks off with Fulham vs Wolverhampton at 13:30. We can recommend a soft start to the fantasy football day with the 500-euro GTD single-match competition. The format is five-a-side, so it is quick to pick a competitive team. As usual, the big competitions skips the early match, so that you can get to check line-ups for all the matches at 16:00. This round the guarantee for the €10+1 buy-in is 20,000, so it is another chance to win the first prize of a whopping 2,000 euro.
The four horsemen are here
The talk of the last few days has been the new look of Manchester United, as shown in their emphatic win over Cardiff. As we expected, the departure of Jose Mourinho and arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjær had a very positive impact on the team, and in the end, Cardiff was beaten 1-5. United had not scored that many goals in a Premier League match since Alex Ferguson was a manager! We especially liked the goal in which ANTHONY MARTIAL (12.2M) linked up beautifully with PAUL POGBA (10.8M) and JESSE LINGARD (11.3M), cutting through the Cardiff defense like a knife. It was like watching Barcelona at their best. All three players are hot candidates for any Boxing Day fantasy team. While Martial scored once, Lingard scored two, and Pogba got two assists. For us, Martial is the first choice, but it is very close between the three, and let us not forget MARCUS RASHFORD (12.8M) either, who scored too on a nice free kick. He is, however, the most expensive of the four. The sudden arrival of form for the four Manchester United horsemen bodes very badly for the club’s rivals; we predict that United will be close to the top four in a month or two. Right now, the difference is 8 points, but it won’t be for long.
The bargain bin
Chelsea was unlucky to lose to Leicester last weekend. Even though Leicester won 1-0, Chelsea dominated the game and both EDEN HAZARD (13.2M) and MARCOS ALONSO (9.9M) hit the woodwork. In other words, the form of Chelsea is still intact. We do believe that they will get some serious competition from Watford this round. Scoring 8 goals in the last 4 matches, Watford has some high-quality players in attack, like GERARD DEULOFEU (6.3M) who has shown great form lately. The former right-winger is nowadays playing up front, alongside TROY DEENEY (6.1M), which increases the chance for a goal or two from the talented Spaniard. ROBERTO PEREYRA (6.5M) is another very capable player. He was taken down inside the penalty box against West Ham, and made a nice contribution that way, as Deeney scored on the penalty. We think both can be worth a punt this round at very reasonable prices. Last week we recommended youngster DOMINGOS QUINA (3.6M), but he was rested and did not play at all. We suspect he may be back in the starting XI this time, but we admit that the under-priced midfielder is a bit of gamble. Unfortunately, we will not know Watford manager Gracia’s line up in time for the big fantasy competitions.
The most solid defense in Premier League
One of the 16:00 matches is Liverpool vs Newcastle. Although nothing is guaranteed in football (and especially not clean sheets), it sure looks like Liverpool should be able to keep the nil in this one. Newcastle has only scored three times in the last five matches, and as we know, Liverpool has improved a lot in defense this season. They have only conceded seven goals in the first 18 matches! That is, unsurprisingly, the best record in the league, by far. One major reason for the solidity in the backline is VIRGIL VAN DIJK (10.8M), who is commanding in the air, on the ground, yes pretty much everywhere. He can even be sent up in attack to score, as he was in the Nations Cup match between Netherlands and Germany. The Netherlands were trailing as the match moved towards injury time, but the Dutch coach sent a message to Van Dijk to move up in attack! Amazingly, he managed to score a goal to get Netherlands a draw! With that in recent memory, it was not any surprise to see Van Dijk score like a seasoned striker against Wolverhampton. He is the obvious first choice when picking Liverpool defenders. If NATHANIEL CLYNE (7.6M) starts the match – which is possible since TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (11.4M) is doubtful because of injury – he too is an obvious pick at this price. DEJAN LOVREN (9.3M) would be our third choice. You will get the chance to check the line-ups for this one, so we suggest you do just that.
The author of this article has been playing fantasy football for real money extensively for several years and is considered an expert in the field.